Neel is a newcomer from New York picked from among thousands of auditions, and his role in “The Jungle Book” marks his first foray into acting.
“Casting is the most important element of any film and finding the right kid to play Mowgli was imperative,” said director Jon Favreau. “Neel has tremendous talent and charisma. There is a lot riding on his little shoulders and I’m confident he can handle it.”
“Neel embodies the heart, humor, and daring of the character,” adds casting director Sarah Finn. “He’s warm and accessible, yet also has an intelligence well beyond his years and impressed us all with his ability to hold his own in any situation. Even though he has no professional acting experience, his natural charisma and instincts jumped out at us.”
As Mowgli, Neel will be the only actor onscreen in the film. The rest of the characters will be potrayed through voices by Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and Lupita Nyong’o.
Based on the book by Rudyard Kipling, “The Jungle Book” is a combination of live-action and animation and will be released in 3D on October 9, 2015.